Topco Recognizes Outstanding Store Brand Commitment

Earlier this month Topco Associates LLC held its 2017 Annual Membership Conference, February 28 through March 2. During the two-day meeting, Topco honored members who demonstrated exceptional program participation. The 2016 award winners included:

From left: Francis Wong, VP Operations and Finance, SpartanNash Company; Jim Goers, SVP Member Development and National Brands, Topco Associates; Larry Pierce, EVP Merchandising and Marketing, SpartanNash; Chris Hooks, SVP, Center Store, Fresh and Supply Chain; Randy Skoda, President and CEO, Topco Associates; John Paul, VP Private Brands, SpartanNash.

SpartanNash Company – Greatest Dollar Growth All Programs 
In 2016 SpartanNash continued to implement Topco’s Aggregated Pharmacy Initiative and grew their own brand portfolio with an emphasis on Full Circle Market and ValuTime.

From left: Jim Goers, SVP Member Development and National Brands, Topco Associates; Neal Berube, President and CEO, Associated Food Stores; Chris Hooks, SVP, Center Store, Fresh and Supply Chain, Topco Associates; Randy Skoda, President & CEO, Topco Associates.

Associated Food Stores, Inc. – Greatest Percentage Growth All Programs
Associated Food Stores showed impressive growth following their transition to Top Care in 2016. They also increased their assortment and promotion of Topco private brands including Full Circle Market, @ease, Paws Happy Life, Simply Done and Wide Awake Coffee.

From left: Randy Skoda, President & CEO, Topco Associates; Chris Hooks, SVP, Center Store, Fresh and Supply Chain, Topco Associates; Chris Miller, President, Associated Grocers of Florida; Chris Lavoy, COO, Associated Grocers of Florida; Manny Chacon, Director of Store Brands, Associated Grocers of Florida; Gregg Young, Chief Sales & Procurement Officer, Associated Grocers of Florida; Christine Heffernan, VP Center Store, Topco Associates.

Weis Markets, Inc. ­– Greatest Dollar Growth Center Store
Weis Markets achieved greatest dollar growth in center store by expanding their assortments in Bottled Water, Coffee, Frozen Vegetables and Salty Snacks through brands such as Full Circle Market and ValuTime.

From left: Randy Skoda, President & CEO, Topco Associates; Chris Hooks, SVP, Center Store, Fresh and Supply Chain, Topco Associates; Chris Miller, President, Associated Grocers of Florida; Chris Lavoy, COO, Associated Grocers of Florida; Manny Chacon, Director of Store Brands, Associated Grocers of Florida; Gregg Young, Chief Sales & Procurement Officer, Associated Grocers of Florida; Christine Heffernan, VP Center Store, Topco Associates.

Associated Grocers of Florida – Greatest Percentage Growth Center Store
In 2016 Associated Grocers of Florida significantly expanded their own brand portfolio and grew center store categories such as Cereal, Sugar and Canned Vegetables.

From left: Randy Skoda, President & CEO, Topco Associates; Chris Hooks, SVP, Center Store, Fresh and Supply Chain, Topco Associates; Charlie, D’Amour, President & COO, Big Y Foods, Inc.; Michael D’Amour, EVP, Big Y Foods, Inc.; Marc Kurkiewicz, VP Meat, Seafood, Deli & Bakery Programs, Topco Associates; Brian Josephs, VP Produce & Floral, Topco Associates.

Big Y Foods, Inc. – Greatest Dollar Growth Fresh
Big Y Foods demonstrated impressive growth in Produce, Deli Meat and Chicken and achieved significant savings on ground beef through Topco’s Fresh Meat program.

1. Chris Hooks, SVP, Center Store, Fresh and Supply Chain, Topco Associates; Randy Skoda, President & CEO, Topco Associates; Pete Van Helden, President & CEO, Stater Bros. Markets; Marc Kurkiewicz, VP, Meat, Seafood, Deli and Bakery Programs Topco Associates; Brian Josephs, VP Produce and Floral Topco Associates; Dennis McIntyre, EVP, Marketing, Stater Bros. Markets.

Stater Bros. Markets. – Greatest Percentage Growth Fresh 
Stater Bros. grew their total fresh purchases by leveraging Topco’s produce program for Berries, Citrus, Mandarins and Cherries.

From left: Jim Goers, SVP Member Development and National Brands, Topco Associates; Randy Skoda, President & CEO, Topco Associates; Jerry Golub, Vice Chairman of the Board, Golub Corporation/Price Chopper Supermarkets, Scott Grimmett, President & CEO, Golub Corporation/Price Chopper Supermarkets, Dave Picarillo, SVP Indirect Spend & Pharmacy, Topco Associates.

Price Chopper Supermarkets – Greatest Dollar Growth Value Add
Price Chopper’s continued growth and participation in Topco’s Indirect Spend, specifically HR and Employee Benefits, Pharmacy and National Brands programs, contributed to their continued success.

From left: Jim Goers, SVP Member Development and National Brands, Topco Associates; Randy Skoda, President & CEO, Topco Associates; Brad Brookshire, Chairman and CEO, Brookshire Holdings, Inc.; Mike Terry, EVP Retail Operations, Brookshire Holdings, Inc.; Neal Leonhardt, EVP, Sales & Marketing, Brookshire Holdings, Inc.; Dave Picarillo, SVP Indirect Spend and Pharmacy, Topco Associates.

Brookshire Holdings, Inc. – Greatest Percentage Growth Value Add
The team from Brookshire’s achieved best in class percentage growth across all three of Topco’s Value Add programs. Topco applauds Brookshire’s for their leadership and performance in Pharmacy, National Brands and Indirect Spend.

.From left: Greg Sparks, SVP & COO, K-VA-T Food Stores; Dan Glei, EVP Merchandising & Marketing, K-VA-T Food Stores; Steve Smith, President & CEO, K-VA-T Food Stores; Jim Goers, SVP, Member Development & National Brands, Topco Associates; Jesse Lewis, EVP & COO (Ret), K-VA-T Food Stores; Randy Skoda, President and CEO, Topco Associates.

K-VA-T Food Stores, Inc. – Greatest Purchase Penetration
For the 13th year in a row, Topco presented K-VA-T Food Stores with the Greatest Purchase Penetration Award for surpassing all members across all programs.

From left: Craig Clasen, Group VP Produce and Purchasing, Hy-Vee, Inc.; Jay Marshall, EVP & COO, Hy-Vee, Inc.; Eric Long, Group VP Private Brands, Hy-Vee, Inc.; Jim Goers, SVP, Member Development and National Brands, Topco Associates; Karl Kruse, EVP, Supply Chain, Hy-Vee, Inc; Randy Skoka, President & CEO, Topco Associates.

Hy-Vee, Inc. – Greatest Purchase Volume
Hy-Vee led all members in 2016 in overall purchases for the 12th consecutive year.

In addition, the following members were honored for their milestone Topco anniversaries:

  • Giant Eagle, Inc.– 55 years
  • Associated Grocers of the South, Inc. – 30 years
  • Bashas’ Inc.– 15 years
  • Coborn’s Incorporated – 15 years
  • Imperial Distributors, Inc.– 15 years
  • Wegmans Food Markets, Inc.– 15 years
  • Quick Chek Corporation– 10 years
  • United Supermarkets, L.L.C– 10 years
  • Associated Food Stores, Inc.– 5 years


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Christopher Durham
Christopher Durham is the president of My Private Brand and the co-founder of The Vertex Awards. He is a strategist, author, consultant and retailer who built brands at Delhaize-owned Food Lion, and lead strategy and brand development for Lowe’s Home Improvement. He has consulted with retailers around the world on their private brand portfolios including: Family Dollar, Petco, Staples, Office Depot, Best Buy, Metro (Canada), TLW (Taiwan) and Hola (Taiwan). Durham has published five definitive books on private brands, including his first book, Fifty2: The My Private Brand Project. In 2017, he will debut his newest book, Vanguard: Vintage Originals, a visual tour of innovation and disruption in private brand going back to the mid-1800’s. Dynamic in his presentation while down to earth and frank in his opinions, he has presented at numerous conferences, including FUSE, The Dieline Conference, Packaging that Sells, Omnishopper and PLMA’a annual trade show in Chicago. Durham lives in Charlotte, NC with his wife, Laraine, and two daughters, Olivia and Sarah.